Venezuela

Venezuela nears default after US imposes sanctions on economy

By Andrea Lobo, 1 September 2017

Amid its worst economic crisis, the new sanctions have pushed Venezuela to the brink of default, which threatens to sink the country’s workers and poor to new depths of misery.

Vice President Pence visits Latin America amid deepening Venezuelan crisis

By Andrea Lobo, 22 August 2017

Pence compared Trump’s “vision” to that of Theodore Roosevelt, making clear that Washington intends to reassert US hegemony in the region.

Trump invokes “military option” against Venezuela

By Bill Van Auken, 14 August 2017

Trump's latest threat was pitched not only to his extreme right-wing base, but also to those within Venezuela’s right-wing opposition committed to US-backed regime change.

Venezuelan military claims suppression of attempted coup

By Bill Van Auken, 7 August 2017

The reported crushing of a rebellion by some two dozen armed men came a day after Venezuela’s new national constituent assembly fired the country’s attorney general.

Washington’s sanctions against Venezuela and the dead-end of Chavismo

By Eric London, 2 August 2017

Nearly 20 years after the election of Chavez, Venezuela remains one the most unequal countries in the world, with poverty the predominant fact of life for the working class.

Trump imposes sanctions on Maduro after Venezuelan constituent assembly elections

By Andrea Lobo, 1 August 2017

The sanctions mark a significant escalation of US imperialist involvement in the Venezuelan crisis and Latin American internal politics.

Election of constituent assembly in Venezuela takes place amid intensified violence and US threats

By Andrea Lobo, 31 July 2017

The conflict between the rival sections of the ruling class is reaching a breaking point.

Lessons from the Pink Tide period

Jacobin defends bourgeois rule and US imperialism in Latin America

By Eric London, 27 July 2017

Jacobin magazine’s spring edition, titled By Taking Power, addresses “both the accomplishments and the shortcomings” of Latin America’s Pink Tide.

Clash between Venezuelan government and opposition raises threat of civil war

By Andrea Lobo, 26 July 2017

The Maduro government has arrested three opposition leaders after their appointment as members of a “parallel” Supreme Court by the opposition-controlled Parliament.

Trump threatens redoubled economic sanctions against Venezuela

By Alexander Fangmann, 19 July 2017

Following a symbolic referendum against the constituent assembly, Washington and the right-wing opposition are ratcheting up pressure on the Maduro government.

Venezuelan government moves against dissenting chavistas

By Alexander Fangmann, 4 July 2017

Hours before the Supreme Court stripped the dissenting attorney general of her powers, a helicopter piloted by a police officer mounted a suspicious attack on the court.

Growing fissures in Maduro government as Venezuelan protests continue

By Bill Van Auken, 16 June 2017

The emergence of dissidents in the Maduro government is part of a bid to fashion a new national unity government with the aim of heading off a revolt from below.

Venezuelan death toll continues to rise as Maduro government pushes for constituent assembly

By Alexander Fangmann, 1 June 2017

Around 60 people have died in clashes, as the chavistas seek to retain power through a reconciliation with sections of the right-wing opposition.

Death toll rises to 37 amid continuing clashes in Venezuela

By Bill Van Auken, 6 May 2017

The Maduro government has turned to intensified repression and the convening of a constituent assembly in its bid to hold on to power in the face of deepening crisis.

May Day 2017

The fight for socialist internationalism in Latin America

By Bill Van Auken, 5 May 2017

The overall impact of Castroism, and, even more decisively, that of the revisionist tendencies which promoted it, was to hold back the socialist revolution.

Twelve dead as food riots spread in working class districts of Caracas, Venezuela

By Eric London, 22 April 2017

The dead include eight who were electrocuted while breaking into a bakery to steal bread for their families.

Three dead as millions demonstrate across Venezuela

By Eric London, 21 April 2017

Wednesday’s opposition demonstration was a right-wing show of force aimed at securing more favorable bargaining terms with the government, which held a large rally of its own.

Venezuelan Supreme Court strips legislature of lawmaking powers

By Eric London, 31 March 2017

Washington has intensified pressure against the Maduro government in an attempt to open the country to oil corporations like ExxonMobil, whose former CEO is Trump’s secretary of state.

US Senate passes resolution calling on Trump to escalate regime-change in Venezuela

By Alexander Fangmann, 15 March 2017

Seizing on the economic crisis gripping Venezuela, the bipartisan resolution is part of an effort to oust the government of Maduro.

Venezuelan government backs off of demonetization scheme after mass rioting

By Bill Van Auken, 21 December 2016

The government abruptly withdrew 100 bolivar notes from the economy after the measure touched off violent protests that left four dead and hundreds arrested.

Ruling Venezuelan party cuts off recall petition drive, provoking protests

By Alexander Fangmann, 29 October 2016

The Maduro government has sidelined the opposition-controlled National Assembly, raising the danger of dictatorship as the country’s economy continues to collapse.

Venezuela opens border with Colombia in order to alleviate growing social tensions

By Alexander Fangmann, 20 August 2016

The border, which has been largely closed since last September, is being opened gradually in order to stem anger arising from shortages of medicine and other basic necessities.

The Venezuelan working class at a crossroads

By Neil Hardt, 16 June 2016

The pro-capitalist, bourgeois nationalist policies of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela have produced a social catastrophe for Venezuelan workers.

Strikes and demonstrations spread in Venezuela amid deepening food crisis

By Neil Hardt, 14 June 2016

There is fear of social revolution in both the pro-Maduro “Chavista” faction of the ruling class and the opposition, led by the Democratic Unity Roundtable.

The Venezuelan pseudo-left and the debacle of Chavismo

By Neil Hardt, 24 May 2016

With Venezuela’s economy in free fall, the pseudo left is defending the PSUV government as it faces mounting working class opposition.

Venezuela’s right appeals to military amid mounting tensions

By Bill Van Auken, 19 May 2016

While participation in the right wing’s protests has been scant, unrest is spreading in working class areas.

Maduro government imposes state of emergency in Venezuela

By Bill Van Auken, 17 May 2016

While the Venezuelan president said that the decree was aimed at “international and national threats,” the most pressing challenge to his government comes from the working class.

Venezuela on the knife’s edge as economy collapses

By Neil Hardt, 10 May 2016

Eighty percent of the country is impoverished, infrastructure has collapsed and a constitutional crisis looms.

Economic crisis heightens social tensions in Venezuela

By Alexander Fangmann, 2 April 2016

Venezuelan workers’ living standards are being slashed as a result of the country’s financial crisis.

Coup threatened in Venezuela amidst deepening economic crisis

By Eric London, 15 February 2016

In the midst of skyrocketing inflation, food scarcity and economic stagnation, the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable is maneuvering for the removal of Maduro.

President Maduro to rule by emergency decree as Venezuela heads toward default

By Alexander Fangmann, 22 January 2016

With the price of oil falling to $26 per barrel, Venezuela’s government is preparing to take emergency measures to impose austerity and ensure payments to the banks.

Venezuela’s Maduro declares “economic emergency” as opposition takes control of legislature

By Bill Van Auken, 7 January 2016

Despite the bitter recriminations between the chavistas and the US-backed opposition, both sides are preparing new attacks on the working class.

A reply to discussion on the Venezuelan elections

By Bill Van Auken, 14 December 2015

The burning question posed in Latin America is that of revolutionary leadership: the building of new parties based on the struggle for the political independence of the working class.

The Venezuelan elections and the dead end of Latin America’s “turn to the left”

By Bill Van Auken, 11 December 2015

The defeat suffered by the ruling chavistas in Venezuela is part of a growing crisis of the so-called “left” bourgeois parties throughout Latin America.

Maduro government suffers steep electoral losses to Venezuelan right

By Bill Van Auken, 8 December 2015

The election results will drive the Maduro government further to the right, while opening up a crisis within the chavista movement.

Ahead of legislative elections

Support for ruling Chavistas evaporates as living standards collapse in Venezuela

By Alexander Fangmann, 5 December 2015

The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela faces a collapse in working class support driven by historic cuts in real wages and a scarcity of basic goods.

Venezuela-Colombia tensions rise following foreign ministers’ meeting

By Bill Van Auken, 29 August 2015

The Maduro government has seized upon recent border incidents to whip up nationalism and divert attention from the deepening social crisis confronting Venezuelan workers.

Spain lines up behind US-led destabilization campaign against Venezuela

By Alejandro López, 12 May 2015

The Declaration of Panama, signed by former Spanish prime ministers González and Aznar, echoes the line emanating from Washington.

Obama brands Venezuela “threat to national security”

By Bill Van Auken, 11 March 2015

The extraordinary designation of Venezuela as a “threat” signals a sharp escalation of Washington's intervention into the country’s political life.

Rightist mayor faces coup charges as Venezuela’s crisis deepens

By Bill Van Auken, 25 February 2015

While there is no doubt that the US and the Venezuelan right are up to their necks in plots, the principal conspiracy is aimed against the country’s working class.

Who are Obama and the US Congress to sanction Venezuela?

By Bill Van Auken, 13 December 2014

In the midst of the deepening crisis over CIA torture, the Obama administration has decided to sanction Venezuela for alleged human rights abuses.

Venezuela announces budget cuts and other financial measures in the wake of OPEC decision

By Alexander Fangmann, 6 December 2014

Relying heavily on income from oil production, the OPEC decision to maintain low oil prices has exacerbated Venezuela’s financial and political crisis.

Venezuela announces plan to sell US oil operations

By Alexander Fangmann, 2 September 2014

With the government experiencing a cash crunch, Oil Minister Rafael Ramírez has announced a bid to sell Citgo for $10 billion.

Venezuelan National Guard guns down protesting steelworkers

By Bill Van Auken, 13 August 2014

At least three workers suffered gunshot wounds and a number of others were detained as the Maduro government stepped up repression against the Venezuelan working class.

US moves towards sanctions as Venezuela charges coup plot

By Bill Van Auken, 31 May 2014

The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved sanctions against Venezuela as officials there presented evidence of US involvement in a plot to bring down the government.

US Congress debates sanctions amid clashes in Venezuela

By Bill Van Auken, 10 May 2014

The US Congress moved toward a vote on imposing sanctions against Venezuela as right-wing protesters and security forces clashed in Caracas.

Washington’s drive for regime change in Venezuela

By Bill Van Auken, 2 May 2014

While the US-backed right-wing protests have failed to topple President Maduro, imperialism and the local bourgeoisie have used them to push his government ever further to the right.

Amid rising working class anger, Maduro woos Venezuelan capitalists

By Bill Van Auken, 26 April 2014

The Maduro government has unveiled an “economic offensive” based primarily on appeals to the country’s capitalists to produce more.

Venezuela arrests 30 more military officers in coup plot

By Bill Van Auken, 17 April 2014

The report of the arrest came as the Maduro government continued its talks with the right-wing opposition.

Venezuela’s Maduro charges US with fomenting Ukraine-style coup

By Bill Van Auken, 10 April 2014

The indictment of Washington’s role in recent upheavals came as the government sought an accommodation with its right-wing opposition.

Venezuelan generals arrested in alleged coup plot

By Bill Van Auken, 28 March 2014

After nearly two months of right-wing-led protests, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro announced the arrest of three air force generals on charges of plotting a military coup.

Death toll rises to 14 in Venezuelan protests

By Bill Van Auken, 25 February 2014

The Maduro government has alternated between repression and calls for “dialogue” with both the Venezuelan right and Washington.

Death toll rises to six as clashes continue in Venezuela

By Bill Van Auken, 21 February 2014

President Nicolas Maduro has accused Washington of fomenting violent upheavals in Venezuela.

Clashes in Venezuela leave three dead

By Bill Van Auken, 14 February 2014

Clashes between demonstrators and security forces left at least three people dead in Venezuela amid sharpening social and economic tensions.

Venezuelan legislature grants president power to rule by decree

By Alexander Fangmann, 20 November 2013

With high inflation and product shortages jeopardizing the ruling party in upcoming elections, the National Assembly has granted Nicolás Maduro exceptional powers for one year.

Maduro expels US officials as Venezuela’s economic crisis deepens

By Bill Van Auken, 2 October 2013

President Maduro ordered the expulsion of three US embassy officials, charging them with financing the “sabotage” of the country’s electrical system and its economy.

Amid extreme inflation and severe shortages, Venezuela to revamp currency laws

By Alexander Fangmann, 24 September 2013

Although the country's severe problems result from global economic pressures along with deteriorating industry and infrastructure, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has claimed they are the result of sabotage.

Venezuela’s “normalization” of relations with Washington

By Bill Van Auken, 12 June 2013

President Nicolas Maduro has responded to Venezuela’s deepening crisis by turning to native capitalists, Washington and now the Pope.

Venezuela’s Maduro reaches out to big business and Washington

By Bill Van Auken, 7 June 2013

After three months in office, President Nicolas Maduro, the handpicked successor of the late Hugo Chavez, has put aside left rhetoric to seek accommodation with Venezuelan capitalists and Washington.

The crisis of Venezuela’s “Bolivarian” revolution and the political independence of the working class

By Bill Van Auken, 21 May 2013

Venezuelan workers can rely only on their own independent strength to defend social gains won over the past period and defeat the threat of a right-wing coup.

Maduro sworn in as Venezuela sets vote recount

By Bill Van Auken, 20 April 2013

Hugo Chávez’ handpicked successor was sworn in as Venezuela’s president Friday, just one day after the government ceded to demands of the right-wing opposition for an audit of the April 14 vote.

Narrow victory for Maduro in Venezuelan elections

By Rafael Azul, 16 April 2013

Nicolás Maduro won Sunday’s presidential election in Venezuela by a razor-thin margin that reflected mounting social discontent.

Maduro prepares cutbacks for post-election Venezuela

By Alexander Fangmann, 13 April 2013

With the special election to replace Hugo Chávez taking place on Sunday, Chávez’s chosen successor, Nicolás Maduro, has announced cuts in the face of worsening economic conditions.

Venezuela’s Maduro runs right-wing campaign in preparation for austerity

By Alexander Fangmann, 2 April 2013

Nicolás Maduro, Hugo Chávez’s handpicked successor, has run a right-wing campaign with overtures to the military and Catholic Church in preparation for cutbacks and austerity.

Nationalism or socialism in Latin America

A reply to a supporter of Chavez

By Bill Van Auken, 14 March 2013

The kind of “alternative” that is envisioned here is one that is imposed from above, not arising from the politically independent movement of the working class itself, striving to establish its own organs of power.

New York Times describes 2002 US-backed coup against Hugo Chavez as “unwise”

By Bill Van Auken, 9 March 2013

The Times itself had enthusiastically endorsed the military overthrow of Venezuela’s elected president.

Hugo Chavez and socialism

By Bill Van Auken, 8 March 2013

Chavez’s nationalist rhetoric and diversion of oil revenues to social assistance programs earned him the hatred of both Washington and a fascistic ruling class layer in Venezuela, but did not represent a path to socialism.

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez dead

By Bill Van Auken, 6 March 2013

After 14 years in power as Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez, a former military officer and left nationalist, died in a military hospital in Caracas following a two-year battle with cancer.

Venezuelan legislature postpones Chavez inauguration

By Bill Van Auken, 10 January 2013

The postponement of the inauguration of cancer-stricken Hugo Chavez for a fourth presidential term has ratcheted up political tensions.

Venezuela’s Chavez wins election, but by narrower margin

By Bill Van Auken, 10 October 2012

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez won another six-year term in an election Sunday that saw the margin he enjoyed over the right-wing opposition sharply reduced compared to previous contests.

Venezuela’s Chavez turns further right in face of election challenge

By Bill Van Auken, 5 October 2012

In the closing weeks of the Venezuelan election campaign, President Hugo Chavez has mixed “socialist” rhetoric with appeals to the rich to back him as a guarantor of social peace.

Death toll in Venezuelan refinery blast rises to 41

By Bill Van Auken, 28 August 2012

President Chavez urged the public not to engage in “speculation” on the cause of the disaster, even as union officials charged that Venezuela’s state-owned oil company had neglected maintenance and safety.

Venezuelan TV cuts broadcast after workers challenge Chavez

By Bill Van Auken, 23 August 2012

Venezuelan television abruptly cut off its broadcast of a public appearance by President Hugo Chavez Monday night amid vocal interruptions from a mass audience of workers.

Chavez deports opposition journalist back to Colombia

By Bill Van Auken, 28 April 2011

The government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez summarily deported Colombian journalist Joaquin Perez Becerra back to Colombia Monday, igniting angry protests in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America.

Venezuela breaks with Colombia over guerrilla accusations

By Bill Van Auken, 24 July 2010

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez broke off diplomatic relations with neighboring Colombia over charges by that country’s government that Caracas has sheltered FARC guerrillas.

Venezuela: Two students killed in clashes

By Bill Van Auken, 28 January 2010

Two students, one a government supporter and the other an opponent, were killed Monday as demonstrations and counter-demonstrations took place across Venezuela following an order to suspend broadcasts by an anti-Chávez television channel.

Venezuela, Russia in $2.2 billion arms deal

By Bill Van Auken, 15 September 2009

Sunday’s announcement by President Hugo Chávez that Venezuela has reached a $2.2 billion deal to purchase Russian tanks and missiles is symptomatic of the growing international tensions in Latin America.

Americas Summit ends with no agreement on economic crisis

By Bill Van Auken, 21 April 2009

While the media has focused its attention on the handshakes between Obama and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, what dominated the Americas Summit was the absence of agreement on policies to confront the deepening capitalist crisis.

Chavez wins referendum vote as Venezuela’s crisis deepens

By Bill Van Auken, 19 February 2009

President Hugo Chavez registered another victory at the polls last Sunday as Venezuelans voted to end term limits, allowing him to run for a third term. The vote took place amid signs of mounting economic crisis and increasing class struggle.

Venezuela: Divided election points to sharpening social struggle

By Rafael Azul, 3 December 2008

Local and state elections held in Venezuela in the third week of November yielded sharply mixed results, pointing to increased political polarization and a resurgence of social struggles.

Chinese president tours America’s “backyard”

By John Chan, 29 November 2008

Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visits to Costa Rica, Cuba and his presence in Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit last week testified to Beijing’s more assertive economic and diplomatic engagement in Latin America.

As oil prices plummet, OPEC meets to consider another production cut

By Patrick O’Connor, 28 November 2008

The value of a barrel of crude oil fell below $50 this month—just one-third of the record $147 a barrel recorded in July—marking the sharpest price collapse since formal futures trading began in 1981.